Roy Rogers Restaurants is an iconic quick service restaurant brand with lots of nostalgia value for people throughout the Mid-Atlantic and Northeastern U.S.
In recent years, the brand has undertaken a major rebuild meant to introduce it to a new generation of consumers while remaining faithful to its roots.
Today, Roy Rogers Restaurants has 48 locations and counting, of which 21 are corporate locations and 27 are franchise locations.
Challenge: Generating the data to save a penny, gain a penny
Three years ago, Jeremy Biser joined Roy Rogers Restaurants as Executive Vice President after almost a decade with Dunkin’ Brands. Biser is leading the charge to update almost every aspect of Roy Rogers Restaurants’ operation – adding modern quick-service and drive-thru options, implementing new store designs, and investing in new technology.
The technology investment spans the point of sale, the back office, and something that was new to the Roy Rogers Restaurants organization – video loss prevention. During his time with Dunkin’ Brands, Biser saw first-hand the value of video to improve operational efficiency, reduce costs, and deter theft.
“Great operators often have good instincts in how their businesses perform,” Biser said. “But to really maximize sales, you need the data to balance those instincts. If you can find half a per cent of pickup in your P&L, that is huge in this industry. You are not going to find those fractions without data.”
The legacy camera systems and DVRs in use by most Roy Rogers Restaurants locations, however, were not up to the task. In 2019, Biser turned to Solink for an upgrade that’s all about the data.
Solution: Constant, intelligent insight that’s user friendly
Following an initial pilot, Solink proceeded with a rollout to all corporate locations — Solink has become the approved vendor for the whole brand. Roy Rogers Restaurants is now gearing up for a major franchise push in multiple U.S. states and will recommend that all franchisees also adopt Solink.
“I have been impressed with the technology and how Solink has continued to evolve, and also with its patience with us as we work through our rebuild,” Biser said.
At each location, Solink integrates with the existing network of cameras to cover every relevant angle. In other words, Solink has made these cameras “smarter” to avoid the expense of an equipment upgrade.
These digital eyes integrate with Roy Roger Restaurants’ point of sale systems. Every transaction can be correlated with corresponding video clips by date and time stamp. Customized exception-based reporting and motion capture can flag in real-time any activity of interest on the premises. This extends to video alarm verification, to quickly distinguish a false alarm from a true incident that requires action.
This is supported by comprehensive data analytics to quickly review and search footage.
Everyone from executives to individual location managers benefit from personalized daily reports and a Dashboard showing comparisons over time to detect trends, which is accessible from any connected device. This is a particularly powerful and useful feature for Biser.
“It takes me just minutes a day to go through and see what our trends are, know if something doesn’t look right, and prioritize how to handle it,” he said. “I expect my whole team to do the same thing. Getting everyone set up with the right daily Solink reports and in the habit of using them makes such a difference to keep our fingers on the pulse of the business.”
Outcome: Driving operational execution in hand with profitability
The rebuild of Roy Rogers Restaurantshas forged ahead despite the operational challenges posed by the pandemic. The team continues to make every effort to shorten time per order at the drive-thru window, boost labour efficiency to improve margins, curb internal theft or user error at the point of sale, cut food costs, and reduce chargebacks with third-party delivery services. All while taking the necessary steps to ensure employee and patron safety.
For Frank Cleveland, Roy Rogers Restaurants’ Senior Manager of IT, Solink’s reliability is huge.
“If Solink were an employee, it would be a person who always shows up for work 24-7, always tells it like it is, and doesn’t hide anything,” he said. “It’s a form of protection for us as a company and for our guests.”
With Solink, it’s easy to catch issues at the POS, track the performance of loyalty programs by location, provide visual evidence for any complaint or incident, invest in additional staff training as needed, and deter theft.
“Solink is one of those tools that has multiple benefits you can use to monitor and improve operational execution combined with profitability,” Biser said.
Take, for example, two of the business’s largest line items – food and labor costs.
“We have been reducing food costs by one per cent each year and Solink plays a role in that,” Biser said. “Transactions per man hour is another big metric we are working to improve. If you can pull another percent down to that net income line, that is going to make the difference for being able to invest in new tech or other operational improvements.”
But it’s not just about the power of the tech and its data. The relationship between vendor and client matters, too.
“Solink is an extension of my team – that relationship is really important to me,” Biser said. “I appreciate how Solink works with me and we can talk things through as one team to solve, in a strategic way, the business challenges that we face.”